CBD oil has been used to support wellness and health for centuries! CBD offers a variety of benefits, from easing joint discomfort, alleviating feelings of worry or stress, and promoting sleep and overall bodily wellness.
Knowledge about CBD has increased, as has its prevalence in health stores, so if you’ve ever wondered whether taking CBD can help alleviate some of your pain and how CBD oil works to do this, this guide is here to help.
Aside from the benefits of CBD oil, many wonder how long it takes for the soothing properties to start working in the body, and the short answer is—pretty fast! Of course, this time varies depending on a variety of factors. This guide breaks down these factors and explains how long it takes for CBD oil to kick in.
First, let’s review the basics of CBD oil!
Basics of CBD Oil
CBD oil comes from the flowers, leaves, and stalk of the Cannabis sativa plant. There are three important categories of compounds in CBD that make it a powerful, fast, pain reliever. These are cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
One of the most familiar benefits of CBD oil is its therapeutic qualities, and this is thanks to cannabinoids! These compounds interact with our endocannabinoid system to ease physical tension, help the body relax, and much, much more!
Two of the most well-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive compound extracted from the Cannabis plant. In other words, it’s THC -- not cannabinol, i.e. CBD -- that causes the feeling of being high or out of it. Over the counter CBD products cannot legally contain over 0.3 percent THC (i.e. a fraction of a percent), which is not a great enough amount to experience even a trace of a high, but it’s just enough to help CBD provide the most benefit it can!
Terpenes are responsible for the cannabis plant’s fragrance and stickiness. Smell alone can produce soothing effects -- that’s the whole basis of aromatherapy candles and diffusers. In the same way, terpenes produce a relaxing fragrance. They also have antioxidant properties that can help your cells defend themselves against stress and general wear and tear.
Flavonoids are also potent antioxidants to promote relief and balance. Apigenin, cannflavin A, and quercetin are some types of flavonoids extracted from the Cannabis plant. Cannflavin A is specifically known for its powerful soothing properties when it comes to irritation in the body.
There are three different types of CBD concentrations.
Full Spectrum CBD is made from the whole Cannabis plant and includes THC. It also has the strongest entourage effect since it includes the most bioidentical form of CBD (i.e. how CBD is naturally found in nature). In other words, full spectrum CBD allows all the components of the plant to work together, magnifying its therapeutic benefits.
Broad Spectrum CBD is similar to full spectrum, but it does not include THC. It removes all traces of THC while still including the other components, so the entourage effect of broad spectrum is lower than full spectrum. It is still powerful, however, so if you’re more comfortable getting started with CBD without any trace of THC, broad spectrum CBD may be the best option for you.
Lastly, CBD isolate is a form that only contains isolated CBD, i.e. no other plant compounds -- THC and all other components have been removed. Because it only contains isolated CBD, there are no other components to interact with, so there is no entourage effect. This is the least effective form of CBD.
How Long Do They Take to Work?
CBD oil works faster or slower based on a few different factors. Let’s talk about them!
Concentration of CBD
There are various concentrations of CBD that play a role in how quickly these effects kick in and how long they last. There are different milligram concentrations of CBD and different forms of CBD. Let’s talk about the different concentrations and forms and how they influence how long CBD takes to work.
CBD concentration affects the timing of CBD’s effects just the way you’d expect -- the larger the amount of CBD, the faster it may work. It also depends largely on how you’re consuming CBD. For instance, if you’re taking an ingestible form of CBD, or a topical form of CBD oil. (We’ll talk about how fast different CBD products work in a bit).
When choosing how many milligrams of CBD to use at a time, you can always start with a low dose and work your way up. For instance, let’s say you’re using a CBD relief cream that has 1000mg of natural, full spectrum CBD, and you massage a small amount onto the affected area. To experience faster relief or greater pain relief, you can reapply as needed to increase the amount of CBD you apply to your skin.
If you’re a beginner, the effects of ingestible CBD like drops or gummies may take a few weeks to kick in or for you to really notice. If you want more relief or relaxation after one week of using a small dose of CBD, you can increase the amount by small increments until you find the concentration and dosage that works best for you.
Type of CBD
There are different forms of CBD to consider when talking about how long they take to work. Let’s talk about some of the most popular ways to take CBD and how long each takes to work.
CBD gummies: CBD gummies are chewed, swallowed, and moved into the digestive tract where they are completely absorbed. However, this absorption can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours depending on when your last meal was, how quickly your digestion moves, and stomach acids.
CBD Tinctures: A tincture is essentially a mix of concentrated cannabis extract and a carrier oil like olive oil or MCT oil. Tinctures are often taken sublingually, which means placing a few drops under your tongue to be absorbed through the thin membranes there. This allows the CBD to be directly absorbed into your bloodstream to work more quickly yet still have gentle effects. Tincture drops can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes to kick in (though you don’t really ever “feel” CBD kick in as much as you generally notice feeling better during your day to day).
- Topical CBD: Topical forms of CBD are any creams, lotions, salves, balms, or other CBD products that you massage directly onto your skin. Apply a topical CBD lotion or salve on any painful joint or muscle and experience relief almost right away, applying as needed. These typically take around 10 minutes to provide pain relief and are often paired with other soothing ingredients like MSM.
Manufacturing Method of CBD
Another factor that influences how quickly CBD products take to work is the quality of the CBD you choose. This is largely dependent on how it is grown and manufactured. But what should you look for to determine the quality of a CBD product? Lab testing, what ingredients are included in the CBD product, and how it is grown and sourced are important factors to look for.
Let’s break down these qualities!
Lab tested. Lab testing is the best way to make sure CBD is good quality and only has the best ingredients. When looking at how your CBD is manufactured, look for lab testing done on it. If there is none available, you may want to consider switching products to something that has a Certificate of Analysis (COA).
100% natural. Look for CBD products that are naturally sourced and contain organic ingredients. You can check a CBD company’s sourcing on their website or on the product itself. For instance, Because plants are 100% organic, grown by our farmers in Colorado. Our farms follow the regulations for THC levels (under 0.3% to eliminate the possibility of getting high) and are ethically sourced and manufactured.
- Zero high. Choose products that contain less than 0.3% THC to eliminate psychoactive or intoxicating effects. You can experience fast, long-lasting pain relief without worrying about experiencing a high.
CBD oil offers many benefits for improving our overall wellness and supporting balance throughout our body, from helping to relieve feelings of overwhelm or worry, soothing joint discomfort, and even working to promote healthy skin and healing from chafing, rash, or irritation due to urinary incontinence when combined with other skin-nourishing ingredients thanks to its healthy fats.
When starting a CBD product, remember to be patient and start slowly. It may take a few days or weeks for relief to kick in, but once you find which dosage is right for you, relief can be felt within half an hour on average.